Chelsea vs Aston Villa 08/21/2013 Free Soccer Pick and Preview
Aston Villa vs Chelsea
Wednesday 21st August 2013 19:45(GMT)
The Line: Chelsea 3/10 Draw 9/2 Aston Villa 9/1 See the Latest Odds
TV: NBC Sports
Aston Villa pulled off the shock of the first round of the Barclays English Premier League when they beat Arsenal 3-1 on Saturday, two goals from star striker Christian Benteke and one from defender Luna was enough to see the Villains take all three points at the Emirates stadium and manager Paul Lambert will be trying to architect another shock on Wednesday night when his side travel to London to take on Chelsea. For those of you who watched the game on Saturday you'll know that Aston Villa were impressive even before Arsenal had a man sent off. Benteke in particular was very impressive, the young Belgian is a powerful physical specimen and his aerial ability is second to none. If he continues to improve then the sky is the limit for Benteke. Overall though Lambert appears to have put together a well balanced side who work hard for each other and have no glaringly obvious weakness', the team is solid across the backline, has a great keeper in Guzan, hard working midfield and a talented strikeforce. Villa could well be the surprise package of the league this season but I still wonder about their strength in depth and we will only be able to judge this as the season progresses.
Chelsea began their second spell under Jose Mourhino with a win on Sunday over newly promoted Hull City. Although the game finished 2-0 and Chelsea missed a penalty the Blues were far from impressive. Fernando Torres put in a good shift for 75 minutes but couldnt find the net, Frank Lampard missed a penalty but scored a goal. Oscar looked good in the withdrawn striker role but the 4-5-1 formation employed by Mourhino did not look fluent and Chelsea gave the ball away and did not retain possession very well. Personally I think Mourhino needs to find a way to include Oscar, Mata and Hazard in the same line up. Mata was on the bench at the weekend and the Spanish star will be looking to force his way back into the starting line up in the coming weeks. Jose Mourhino is famous for ensuring his sides do not lose home games in their domestic leagues and I think the way things have started for Jose it looks as if he is focused on Chelsea's defence at the moment. Rumours still abound that Chelsea will be back in for Wayne Rooney this week and the Manchester United striker may the perfect man for the Blues if they can persuade Manchester United to sell him. Rooney's work in and around the box and his passing , vision and link play may mean he is the man that Chelsea need to lead their line and play off Torres.
Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sport
Before Saturday's games I would have been of the opinion that Chelsea will walk through this game in second gear and take all three points but Aston Villa impressed me at the weekend. Their workrate, team play and overall play on Saturday was very impressive and Christian Benteke was exceptional. Paul Lambert took alot of stick last year when Aston Villa struggled for most of the year but he should get all the credit now that things appear to have turned around for the Villains. I think this game is going to be a really entertaining encounter and I'm going to Aston Villa +2 at 10/11 and I will also take a piece of the draw at 9/2 I think the bookmakers have overestimated Chelsea's scoring ability and under estimated Aston Villa's win over Arsenal. Even without the sending off on Saturday I think Villa would have won that game andI really admired how the team dealt with going behind in the 6th minute, away from home against a team that finished top four last year.